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A short history of the MABS Symposia
Reviewed by MABS Executive Committee September20th 2016

In the early years of the nuclear weapons age a large number of nuclear atmospheric tests were performed for several purposes. Among them, so called effect tests were conducted in order to investigate the effects of a nuclear explosion on military and civilian systems and equipment. Such tests provided the basic knowledge, in particular on the blast and thermal effects of nuclear explosions

In 1963 the "Limited Test Ban Treaty" entered into force. This treaty prohibits nuclear explosions in the atmosphere, space and underwater, thus ending the nuclear weapons effects test series. As a consequence, new methods and simulation techniques were needed for further investigations and studies in the field of the blast and thermal effects of nuclear explosions.

 

Based on the already well-known shock tube technique, blast simulators of various designs and sizes as well as thermal pulse simulators were developed and used. In a first phase, scientific results from these activities were presented and discussed in the context of the already existing "International Shock Tube Symposium". But it was soon realized that there was a requirement for a more specialized meeting which would be limited to scientists with a military focus, interested in the use of blast and thermal simulators. The MABS Symposia were born! The initial scope of the conference included the following topics which remained almost unchanged until the end of the Cold War:

  •  military requirements for tests in blast simulators
  • design of blast simulators (any device used to simulate blast waves of large scale explosions)
  • specialized instrumentation or techniques
  • test results
  • comparison between simulation and field trials
  • new or proposed simulation facilities, instrumentation or techniques

From MABS 1 to MABS 3 the primary interest focussed on the "Military Applications of Blast Simulators"

 

For MABS 4 to MABS 13, a more general formulation was chosen: "Military Applications of Blast Simulation"

 After the end of the Cold War the interest in specific nuclear topics declined. The investigation of the phenomenology and effects of conventional explosions became more important. This is demonstratet by the new denomination for further MABS Symposia: "Military Aspects of Blast and Shock".

 

Throughout their history MABS Symposia have proven to be most successful conferences providing the international blast community places to meet and opportunities to present, to discuss and to exchange information, leading to what can be called an "international blast culture".

 

The following table provides an overview of all MABS Symposia, where and when they took place and which were the organizing institutions.

 

 

MABS 1: Military Applications of Blast Simulators

Alberta, Canada

18 – 21 July, 1967

Defence Research Establishment Suffield

MABS 2: Military Applications of Blast Simulators

Dahlgren, Virginia , U.S.A.

2 – 5 November, 1970

The Naval Weapons Laboratory

MABS 3: Military Applications of Blast Simulators

Schwetzingen, Germany

19 – 21 September, 1972

Ernst Mach Institut, Freiburg and Akademie für Wehrverwaltung und Wehrtechnik, Mannheim

MABS 4: Military Applications of Blast Simulation

Southend-on-Sea, England

9 – 12 September, 1974

Atomic Weapons Research Establishment, Foulness

MABS 5: Military Applications of Blast Simulation

Stockholm, Sweden

23 – 26 May, 1977

Fortifikationsförvaltningen

MABS 6: Military Applications of Blast Simulation

Cahors, France

25 – 29 June, 1979

Centre d'Etude de Gramat

MABS 7: Military Application of Blast Simulation

Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada

13 - 17 July, 1981

Defence Research Establishment Suffield

MABS 8: Military Application of Blast Simulation

Spiez, Switzerland

20 – 24 June, 1983

AC-Laboratorium Spiez

MABS 9: Military Application of Blast Simulation

Oxford, England

23 – 27 September, 1985

Atomic Weapons Research Establishment, Foulness

MABS 10: Military Application of Blast Simulation

Bad Reichenhall, Germany

21 – 25 September, 1987

Erprobungstelle 52 der Bundeswehr Oberjettenberg and Ernst Mach Institut Freiburg

MABS 11: Military Application of Blast Simulation

Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.A.

10 – 15 September, 1989

Ballistic Research Laboratory and Defense Nuclear Agency

MABS 12: Military Application of Blast Simulation

Perpignan, France

22 – 27 September, 1991

DGA / DRET

Centre d'Etude de Gramat

MABS 13: Military Application of Blast Simulation

The Hague,

The Netherlands

13 – 17 September, 1993

Klvl and TNO-Prins Maurits Laboratory

MABS 14: Military Aspects of Blast and Shock

Las Cruces, New Mexico, U.S.A.

10 – 15 September, 1995

Defense Nuclear Agency

MABS 15: Military Aspects of Blast and Shock

Banff, Alberta, Canada

14 – 19 September, 1997

DRDB, Defence Research Establishment Suffield

MABS 16: Military Aspects of Blast and Shock

Oxford, England

10 – 15 September, 2000

Cranfield University, Royal Military College of Science

MABS 17: Military Aspects of Blast and Shock

Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A.

10 – 14 June, 2002

Defense Threat Reduction Agency

MABS 18: Military Aspects of Blast and Shock

Bad Reichenhall, Germany

27 September – 1 October, 2004

Wehrtechnische Dienststelle für Schutz- und Sondertechnik

MABS 19: Military Aspects of Blast and Shock

Calgary, Alberta,Canada

01 – 06 October, 2006

Defence Research & Development Canada (DRDC)Suffield

MABS 20: Military Aspects of Blast and Shock

Oslo, Norway

31 August – 05 September, 2008

Norwegian Defence EstatesAgency, Swedish Research Agency, Swedish National Fortification Administration

MABS 21: Military Aspects of Blast and Shock

Jerusalem, Israel

03 – 08 October, 2010

Protective Technologies Research and Development Center, Faculty of Engineering Sciences, Ben Gurion University of the Negev (BGU-PTR&DC)

MABS 22: Military Aspects of Blast and Shock

Bourges, France

04 – 09 November, 2012

Ecole National Supérieure d'Ingeniéurs de Bourges (ENSIB) and Commissariat à l'Énergie Atomique et aux Énergies Alternatives (CEA)

MABS 23: Military Aspects of Blast and Shock

Oxford, England

07 – 12 September, 2014

Cranfield University, Ministry of Defence, UK

MABS 24 Military Aspects of Blast and Shock

Halifax NS, Canada

18 – 23 September, 2016

Defence Research & Development Canada (DRDC) Suffield and Lloyd’s Register Applied Technology Group, Canada

  

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